Originally published on EV Obsession.
Things seem to be heating up between Tesla and various auto-dealer associations around the country lately, with a number of new lawsuits and public complaints going through in recent days.
Amongst those is a new complaint from the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association that alleges that Tesla has committed illegal acts at its authorized dealership in Tyson’s Corners, as well as at its nearby shopping mall gallery/store.
The complaint, filed with the state’s Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, alleges that Tesla “has done such heinous things as offering customers test drives, fudging official reports on state mandated fees, and engaging in illegal advertising. It stops just short of charging Tesla with mopery on the high seas,” Steve Hanley summarized.
The CEO of Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, Don Hall, wrote: “VADA believes it has a duty to bring these repeated violations to the attention of the MVDB so that the MVDB may protect its credibility in the face of such reckless law-breaking.”
Steve, on sister site Gas2, provides more:
In an email to Automotive News, he added that the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, the state agency charged with oversight of the auto dealer industry, has “100% authority to stop Tesla, thus our letter.”
Tesla has applied for a second dealership license in Virginia. The VADA vehemently opposes that request. In fact, it has sued the company and the state Department of Motor Vehicles to block the application. In its letter, it asks for an investigation into all of Tesla’s activities within the Commonwealth. The Virginia Automobile Dealers Association is calling on state regulators to investigate and sanction Tesla Motors for alleged violations at its existing locations in the state.
Company spokesperson Khobi Brooklyn told Automotive News in an e-mail, “The franchised dealer lobby in Virginia is taking every possible step, whether through lawsuits, PR campaigns or outright harassment, to try to prevent Virginians from being able to buy cars from Tesla. Each of these actions is legally wrongful and threatens to move Virginia backwards. Virginians who would like to be able to buy a car from Tesla should have the right to do so. Tesla will continue to fight for that.”
Considering that shopping for a car at an auto dealership is practically a universally maligned experience, you’d think that maybe the dealers would be working to improve on that count rather than (seemingly) spend all of their time and money fighting Tesla.
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